Friday, August 20, 2004

Taj Mahal – Blues With a Feeling: Best of the Private Years (Private, 2003)

It’s hard to believe that Taj Mahal’s career has stretched on for almost 40 years now. This collection covers his tenure with the Private Records label where he spent most of the 1990’s. It was an interesting decade, in which Taj took home his first his first Grammy award and continued his trend of releasing diverse blues and roots based music.

The collection kicks off with a track from the Grammy winning title track to his album Senior Blues, a soulful version of the Horace Silver classic. He tackles some other classic songs, particularly a very funky version of “Love Her with a Feeling” and a nice rendition of Doc Pomus’ “Lonely Avenue” and a rousing version of Dave Bartholomew’s “Let the Four Winds Blow.” A couple of Taj’s own tunes get a reprise including his strutting “Cakewalk Into Town.”

Taj has moved on again – on to a new label and new adventures, especially an album of Hawaiian music released last year which confirmed his eclectic nature as a musician and as a performer. This is a very solid one disc collection of his 90’s material and is worthy of tracking down if one is inclined.

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